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Old 02-02-2013, 08:11 PM   #1
movet22
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Default I did not listen...

I didn't listen to Kal and a number of others who say time and again: Don't use a cheap step bit. Well I did. The step bit that Bobby M sells for his weldless fitting worked so well for those minor applications, that I tried to use it for my 1 1/4'' holes for my heating element installs. What a mistake!

Let me start by reiterating: Bobby's step bits worked GREAT for the weldless valve and sight glass install. He represents that product 100% prefectly and I IN NO WAY blame Bobby for my stupidity.

When a bigger hole was needed, I ended up hardening the steel around the 1'' step on my HLT. My heart sank and I thought I was doomed. I immediately ran to Lowes and picked up a greenlee 1 3/8'' step bit... What a difference!

I was able to easily get the last .25'' on the HLT and blew through my BK with extreme ease.

People who may be considering doing what I did, listen to me: DON'T! I know the greenlee bit is expensive, but it makes drilling in steel so easy that I could do it, and I am TERRIBLE with this kind of stuff.

To the sages whom I did not listen to... I apologize and seek forgiveness

Also, now that I have no more use for the step bit, I am willing to sell it at a discount to anyone who was deterred from spending the full number on one. I would really like to trade it for one of the GFCI inline 30a 240v cords

PM me if interested and happy brewing!



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Old 02-02-2013, 11:18 PM   #2
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No offense, but I'm sure that more than one of us in HBT land has made due with the cheap set of step bits that Harbor Freight sells. I used this set to drill 2X 1-1/4 and 8X 5/8" without a problem. All it took was time, patience, pressure, and lots and lots of WD-40. No doubt that Greenlee's are definitely the way to go, if you have one handy (or want to drop big $$$$), but even cheap step bits will work. . .



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Old 02-03-2013, 12:12 AM   #3
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Just out of curiosity, can you post what drill motor you were using? Corded, cordless?

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Old 02-03-2013, 12:59 AM   #4
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@PLOVE: I may have been able to make it work if I REALLY tried, but I could tell that the effectiveness was wearing. I need everyone to keep in mind that my skill set with tools and such is extremely limited. I can do minor to moderate work, but only in spurts. I was in over my head with this. The greenlee bits are so good that even with my lack of skill, patience, ect, I was able to get the holes done without any worry.

@Bobby: I punched the smaller holes (sight glass/valve) with a cordless 12v 450/1500 rpm dewalt that worked fine, but when that started to slow down (around 1'' when doing the elements), I switched to a corded 12v 2500rpm Skill that was able to power through a bit more, and then, when paired with the greenlee was able to absolutely crush a full 1 1/4'' hole.

I want to be as clear as possible: I am NOT saying that this cannot be done without the greenlee bit. I am just saying that for someone like myself (little to no handy skills) the higher end bit allows you to get away with more when making the cuts.

I am no electrician/carpenter/any other hands on profession... I work in advertising... my bottle labels will always garner more acclaim than my handy work. So keep that in mind when reading of my struggles.

I do however, greatly appreciate everyone's help as my brewery comes to fruition!

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Old 02-03-2013, 04:45 AM   #5
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Consider yourself lucky to have a new pot to be drilling holes in. lmao. I should have went to college...

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Old 02-03-2013, 07:17 AM   #6
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I've heard a 1.25" conduit punch is the way to go, no?

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Old 02-03-2013, 10:47 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brulosopher View Post
I've heard a 1.25" conduit punch is the way to go, no?
They're great, but that's all they can do. A step bit will give you 10-20 different sized holes whereas a conduit punch gives you only one for about the same price.

I've got both step bits and conduit punches for work. If I didn't and I was only making 2 holes 1 1/4" max in a pot/sanke I'd buy a cheap step bit from harbor freight, dip it in oil and drill relatively slow (800rpm vs 3000rpm). It can be a hit/miss thing to use the conduit punch in the curved side of a pot. If the pot is relatively thin (under 10 gauge) you might be ok but I'd be leery about a punch getting bogged down, especially in stainless.

When I made my brew controller the conduit punch was a life saver. If you're doing more than 10 small holes I'd recommend getting the punch.
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Old 02-03-2013, 02:38 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by brewfreeordie

They're great, but that's all they can do. A step bit will give you 10-20 different sized holes whereas a conduit punch gives you only one for about the same price.

I've got both step bits and conduit punches for work. If I didn't and I was only making 2 holes 1 1/4" max in a pot/sanke I'd buy a cheap step bit from harbor freight, dip it in oil and drill relatively slow (800rpm vs 3000rpm). It can be a hit/miss thing to use the conduit punch in the curved side of a pot. If the pot is relatively thin (under 10 gauge) you might be ok but I'd be leery about a punch getting bogged down, especially in stainless.

When I made my brew controller the conduit punch was a life saver. If you're doing more than 10 small holes I'd recommend getting the punch.
Great info, thanks! Is there a difference between a conduit and chassis punch? If so which one would I use for the element hole, and what size?
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Old 02-03-2013, 07:48 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by movet22 View Post
I want to be as clear as possible: I am NOT saying that this cannot be done without the greenlee bit. I am just saying that for someone like myself (little to no handy skills) the higher end bit allows you to get away with more when making the cuts.
+1 to this.

There's many ways to make a hole successfully. The important thing to remember is that the Greenlee punches will give you highest success rate. They're basically impossible to screw up, so that's why I always use them myself and also recommend them.

Kal
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Old 02-04-2013, 03:28 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kal

+1 to this.

There's many ways to make a hole successfully. The important thing to remember is that the Greenlee punches will give you highest success rate. They're basically impossible to screw up, so that's why I always use them myself and also recommend them.

Kal
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